Race report by James Dara Brady from the Athlone 3/4 Marathon

I’m reliably informed by our resident intellectual (who shall remain nameless, but feel free to guess) that Athlone is in an area known as Goldsmith’s country. Named after the novelist, playwright and poet Oliver Goldsmith. I think he must have ran the Athlone ¾ marathon at some point, one of his better known quotes goes something like this “success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall”. And to be fair to Oliver there were plenty of hills to fall up and down on this course. And oddly this race isn’t actually in Athlone, it’s in Glasson. But that’s just an aside…
Billed as a “proven top quality Dublin marathon preparation event”, Sportsworld were well represented here. So much so the race announcer felt obliged to comment on the amount of Sportsworld singlet’s as the race was about to start.
Being the well organised race that this event is, there is a racing brief available for download prior to the race to give you all sorts of interesting information. What it does include is the reference to hills at approximately mile 5 and mile 18. What it fails to do justice to is exactly how torturous these hills are. Goldsmith would not be best pleased with the lack of flowery language. They also fail to add the other quirky race niceties such as the smell of slurry, tractor avoidance and the odd pile of horse poo!
These are of course minor inconveniences and only add to the character. This is a well organised race with water stations every four miles, each with watermelon slices and jellies too. Oh, and post race timing splits for each quarter.
It is an ideal opportunity to test your marathon day race pace and just to seem really geeky I’ll add one final Goldsmith quote that is fairly apt “For he who fights and runs away,may live to fight another day; But he who is in battle slain, can never rise and fight again.” In running terms; you’re three weeks away from the marathon, do not run yourself into the ground today.
The weather was good. It was relatively mild and when a drizzle of rain came it was appreciated. The route wasn’t exactly hopping with people and I seem to remember Michael stating at some point as we ran past some houses “these are not running fans”. We did get much great support from Catriona, Liam and Michelle at different points along the route which was great. Liam unfortunately had hurt his back and couldn’t run, fingers crossed he’s back training asap.

On the day Sportsworld had great results for what is a very tough course. If there were a team prize it would have easily gone to the club. There were approximately 776 runners in this event. The two most notable results on the day came from Paul Duffy and Patricia Fitzmaurice. Here are the overall results. If I’m missing anyone I apologise, but you must not have entered Sportsworld as your club so let us know how you got on. See you at the start line on the 28th. James Brady

Paul Duffy 3rd 1.53.04
Phil Kilgallon 5th 1.57.00
Gavin Finlay 6th 1.57.20
Ed McEntee 11th 2.04.35
James Brady 13th 2.05.11
Michael Cunningham 15th 2.06.25
Will Greensmyth 57th 2.21.28
Sean Donegan 100th 2.28.14
Patricia Fitzmaurice 128th 2.32.22
Denis McCaul 177th 2.38.15
Nuala O’Connor 182nd 2.40.14
Ronan Murray 183rd 2.40.16
Fiona Fagan 325th 2.53.02
Alan Dignam 331st 2.54.04